Construction likely to complete ahead of schedule | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, May 22, 2008 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, May 22, 2008

Third Karnaphuli Bridge

Construction likely to complete ahead of schedule


Construction work of the Third Karnaphuli Bridge is going on in full swing.Photo: STAR

Construction of the Third Karnaphuli Bridge is likely to be completed by June next year -- three months ahead of the schedule.
The construction started in August in 2006 under a project worth Tk 590 crore. With the financial assistance of Kuwait, work of 950-meter bridge with 24-metre width was scheduled to be completed by September next year.
“With 43 per cent of the construction already completed we expect to finish the work two to three months ahead of the schedule,” said Project Director Superintendent Engineer Abdul Muktadir Belal of Road & Highway Department.
The time consuming tasks, including construction of all the 16 underground piles that support four pears of the main bridge, have already been completed.
“We have made up the loss we suffered for some four months when the construction was hampered at the initial stage in late 2006. The construction is now going on in full-swing to complete it by June next year,” he said.
The bridge would have four piers three in the river and one on the sands on the other bank. It would have a 0.5 km approach road at the city end and a 1.5km approach road at the Patiya end.
The bridge will have four lanes for vehicular traffic and two 1.5m lanes for movement of manual transports like rickshaws, push carts and vans. Besides, there will be a 1.5m walkway on each side of the bridge, Belal said.
The third bridge on the Karnaphuli was planned as the century-old Kalurghat railroad bridge and renovated Shah Amanat Bridge could hardly cope with the flow of vehicular traffic to maintain the road communication of South Chittagong with the rest of the country.
The bridge will open up a scope of industrialisation on the other bank of the river Karnaphuli linking the tourist city of Cox's Bazar and south Chittagong alongside easing suffering of the passengers.
However, debate over its type delayed the implementation process initiated in 2002.
Belal said the bridge is being constructed following the report of River Research Institute.
Communications Adviser Maj Gen (Retd) Ghulam Quader while visiting the bridge site recently said the bridge is the most suitable one in consideration of the type of soil, location and morphology of the river.
This type of bridge is economical when the costs of both the construction and maintenance are considered, he said.
A suspension bridge is not possible here due to the soft earth of the riverbanks. At the same time its construction is also highly costly, he said.
Navigability of the river was considered before going for the present type of the bridge since it will not cause any significant change in the morphology or siltation of the river, said the adviser.
Besides, removal of the second bridge after completion of the third bridge will reduce the rate of siltation at Karnaphuli channel, he added.
Former prime minister Khaleda Zia laid the foundation of the bridge on April 19 in 2004 to construct the bridge with the financial assistance of Dutch- Swedish Consortium by 2006.
Later, the Cabinet Committee on Purchase approved construction of the Third Karnaphuli Bridge at a meeting on June 15, 2006.
China Major Bridge Company was awarded work order for construction of the bridge within 38 months.

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